St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Irish Beef & Cabbage Stew & My New Youtube Channel!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

MOST exciting new thing in my life?  My brand, spanking new YOUTUBE channel!   I set it up two days ago & there are already two videos.  One to make Vegan Firecracker Chicken and one for St. Patrick’s Day to make a Last Word Cocktail – pictured above.

As my editing skills & equipment improve – so will the videos but I was just so excited to get started – I just jumped right in.  Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel!

Ok – so – if you watched the Last Word video – you saw that I was also cooking up this creation – just in time for you to cook tomorrow!  Easy & vegan – it is flexible.  Use the veggies I suggest – or not.  I used Gardein Beefless Tips but Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles or even the Beast Burger would work!   The photo I used shows the green beans & Brussels sprouts I considered adding but then did not.

*NOTE – I used a combination or bouillon, soy sauce, Marmite & Kitchen Bouquet.  This made for a sodium-intense stew.  I recommend starting with just veggie stock and then adding one or a few of these other things until you get the intensity you want in both flavor & color (Kitchen Bouquet being best for the deep brown color) – but add them in increments so you avoid a salt-fest.

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Irish Beef & Cabbage Stew

Serves a lot – like – at least 6

INGREDIENTS

9+ oz vegan beef – you can pan-sear & brown it first, if you like.  I did not.

1/2 cup vegan butter (or olive oil)

1 onion – chopped

2 potatoes – cubed

5 carrots – chopped

8 mushrooms – sliced

4 celery stalks – chopped

2 cups cabbage – chopped

1-2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

9 oz peas

1 cup pearl barley or other grain (optional)

up to 1 cup flour or a few TBS cornstarch

10 cups veggie stock

1 TBS pepper

Optional – fresh chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano or parsley.  I used none.

*OPTIONAL – a few TBS soy sauce OR 1/2 tsp Marmite OR 2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet OR a combination *see note above

DIRECTIONS

Warm the butter or oil & then add onions, celery, mushrooms, and jalapenos (if using).  Saute until the onions & celery are soft.

Add potatoes & carrots & beef.  Combine.  Add stock & cabbage & pepper & chopped herbs (if using) & pearl barley.  Bring to a boil.  Whisk either 1/2 cup of flour or a few TBS cornstarch into some water & add it to the stew.  As it boils – it should thicken.  Repeat incrementally to thicken the stew more if necessary.   Conversely – add water to thin it.

Now taste it & see if you want to add Marmite, Kitchen Bouquet or soy sauce.  Adjust flavors to suit yourself.  I added two halved potatoes to mine to draw some sat out.

It is done when the veggies are all tender & it is thick as you like & the seasonings seem right.  Stir in the peas.  Serve!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Slainte!

Vegan Chicken & Vegetable Pad Thai Rice Noodles and Silom Thai Market & Vegan Meat GALORE!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

I have written about my favorite local Thai market, Bangluck, many times.  I have also mention Silom market.   Silom is where I found the vegan beef I used in my Vegan Spicy Szechuan Orange Beef & Wide Rice Noodles – seen just above.   But – while I was impressed with the vegan meat discoveries in the center freezers – somehow – I missed that they have an entire WALL of freezers – stocked to the brim with vegan meat options!  Look at this shit!

They have dozens & dozens of options.  Some are already prepared – like orange or sesame chicken – and some are not.  Huge bags, small bags.  Seafood, beef, pork & chicken.  Just a regular vegan wet dream!  INCREDIBLE find!  Not sure how I missed it all these years.

The store itself is very ghetto and the security guard out front suggests Silom is a front for some other more nefarious industry than peddling soy products.  But still – it is CHOCK full of cheap but exotic rices & sauces & veggies & BIZARRE-looking desserts & bug-based pastes.  Yes – bug.  That story is HERE.  Here are a few more views of the mecca that is Silom.

That is some fine looking jewelry!

Anyway – I love this place & they almost always have Keffir lime leaves which are like a Thai restaurant in a tiny bag.  They smell SO good!

Anyway – I digress – because I used my favorite faux chicken ever – Beyond Meat – in this Pad Thai.  I used the Pad Thai noodles you see above because they were handy at Silom.  You can use some like this or ramen noodles or even regular pasta.

I also used tamarind paste (also from Silom) but it is not critical.  Not critical but it does add authenticity.

If you cannot find the ingredients I used (tamarind paste or the homemade vegan fish sauce) – there are plenty of other options.  I will list a few in the ingredients list.

Vegan Chicken & Vegetable Pad Thai Rice Noodles

serves 2-4 (depending on appetites)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pad thai (or other) noodles – cooked according to the package

9 oz vegan chicken

2 TBS coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

1 red bell pepper – cut into slivers

2 cups shredded or matchstick carrots

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1-2 red (or green) jalapeno peppers – diced (optional)

1 small head broccoli – cut into florets

1 cup sprouts

GARNISH – cilantro, lime wedges, chopped peanuts (I used crushed almonds)

for the Pad Thai sauce

(double this recipe if you like a heavy sauce on your noodles)

3 TBS of brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter Pad Thai)

1/4 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

2 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS lime juice

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS chili paste –  sambal oelek (or sriracha if you cannot find chili paste) – OPTIONAL

1 TBS tamarind paste (or tomato paste or peanut butter – each will be very different but still tasty)

2 TBS homemade vegan fish sauce (or just more soy sauce)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the noodles & set aside.

Either whisk the sauce ingredients together or warm them on a stove until the sugar dissolves.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Add the red bell, sprouts, broccoli & carrots & saute until tender but not soggy.  Add chicken & garlic & combine for one minute.  Add noodles & sauce (if you doubled the sauce recipe, add it incrementally until you have a ratio that suits you).  Combine & heat through.

Serve with peanuts, cilantro & lime wedges.

Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So – my last post was a month ago.  It was my Clean Cooking & a 21-day Arbonne Healthy Eating Detox – Vegan or Vegetarian Style post describing a 21-day detox/cleanse I was launching on.  I never posted about it again for a few reasons: the fact that the recipes from the Arbonne site made GINORMOUS quantities & I ate the same thing for days & because I just had no passion for cooking while on it.  I ended it two days earlier than my 21 day goal because – Superbowl party.  After nearly 3 weeks of deprivation – I lost 4 pounds.  4 miserable pounds.  I should not complain because one friend of mine lost nothing & another gained 4 pounds.  So – that cleanse is what you make of it but it was a great jump start to shock me out of deeply-entrenched habits.  Now – I am obsessed with TEA and pay way more attention to what I eat & where calories are coming from.  Which brings me to my day yesterday.

I was at the mall exchanging a birthday gift & realized it was lunch time & that I was hungry.  My choices were mainly a sushi spot & the Cheesecake Factory.  Since I no longer eat fish, I Googled the Cheesecake Factory’s menu to see if they had any HEALTHY (reading – low in calories) options.  The Cheesecake Factory is notorious for shockingly caloric options (see HERE) and I did not want to eat a 2000 calorie lunch – as I am still trying to keep my daily calorie intake to about 1200.  I was pleased to see a skinny cocktail menu and a super food menu.   So – I went in and I ordered a skinny margarita & the vegan Cobb salad.  I got the Cobb because I did not want to eat any of their 490 calorie “skinny” menu items.  I thought I would be really good & get a salad with proteins (garbanzos &  quinoa) and the healthy fat avocado.

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The drink was small but tasty & only clocked in at 150 calories.   Very happy with that.  The salad was not gargantuan, not over-dressed & was quite good.  Looks good, right?  Looks healthy.  Proud of myself, I considered ordering a second cocktail as I entered the stuff I had just consumed in My Fitness Pal.  It was then that my world came shattering down around me.  That fucker of a salad had 1210 calories!!!!!  1210!!!!  I could go to McDonald’s and get a Big Mac, medium fries & a medium NON-DIET Coke for under 1100.  Don’t believe me?  Look HERE on McDonald’s own site.  How the FUCK is THAT possible???  A salad?  Without a creamy dressing or any cheese or meat or bacon or croutons or fried wontons or ANYTHING naughty?   Avocado is fatty but it is not cheese & bacon fatty!  It is not BIG MAC fatty!  And that photo shows the salad with dressing on it.  It really was NOT soaked in dressing.  I was SO freaked out!  I felt SO cheated!  For 1200 calories I could have gotten pizza & wine.  Or almost anything on the menu.  Seriously.  What the fuck?  So – almonds & sunflower seeds in addition to avocado & boom!  An ass like Kim Kardashian.  I felt like I had undone 3 weeks of deprivation with one Goddamn SALAD!  Ugh.  I complained about it all fucking day.  And I am complaining now.  I will never EVER enter the CottageCheesecake AssFactory again.  I swear it.

So – driven to compensate for that outrageous lunch – I made this VERY healthy stew today.  I used a bunch of sketchy veggies cresting their use-by dates & it came out delicious.  You can add or remove produce to suit your tastes.   I only used bit of olive oil to roast the veggies & that was it.  You could eliminate even that by NOT roasting them & just throwing them in the pot to boil.  Your call.

I served myself a hearty portion of this stew today over a very carefully measured 1/4 cup of mixed ancient grains.  Truth be told – this stew does not need a grain to make it satisfying so – serve it naked or over the grain of your choice.

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Turmeric is a very healthy spice.  Here are some of the benefits of turmeric.  Look at that list or THIS one.  It will make you want to use vibrant turmeric as often as possible.

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Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew

Makes a LOT – enough to feed 6-8 (even without a grain)

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower – cut into bite-sized florets

10-15 carrots – chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 large onion – chopped

1 red bell pepper – cut into matchsticks

2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)

2 (15 oz) cans of garbanzo beans (drained)

2 (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes

10 garlic cloves – chopped

10 oz broccoli (VERY optional – I only used the broccoli rabe I had because it was wilting)

1-2 TBS turmeric (start with one & add more if you like)

1 BS ground cumin

1 TBS ground coriander

2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground cardamom (LOVELY but can be omitted if you cannot find it)

4 cups vegetable stock (or water)

Olive oil

S&P

Chopped parsley or cilantro as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

If roasting the vegetables:

Heat the oven to 475.

Toss the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, onion & jalapenos in a light coating of olive oil & some S&P.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Add them to a large stock pot with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.

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If not roasting them – just throw them in with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.  Add water to thin it if it gets too thick.  Cook it down if it is too watery.  Season with S&P & garnish with parsley or cilantro.

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is really easy & does not use any ingredients that are especially exotic.  I added WAY too many hot peppers & blasted my face off with this one – so – I will recommend using less spice here than I did.  I used Gardein Beefless Tips that I found in the freezer section of my local Ralph’s.  You can use these or any other meat replacement you prefer.  The ratio of veggies is an entirely personal one.  You can take my suggestions or wing it – or just go straight beef & rice.  Your call.  But it is easy & bursting with flavor!

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Serves 4 with cooked rice

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice of your choice

2 TBS coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

9 oz meatless beef – defrosted

2 cups broccoli florets

2 bell peppers – seeded & cut into strips

3 carrots – chopped

1 leek or medium onion – chopped

1 large zucchini – chopped

4 oz mushrooms – sliced

1-2 jalapenos or serranos (seeded to lessen the heat) – or to taste – diced

1-3 tsp cornstarch (optional)

for the sauce

2 TBS vegan oyster-flavored or mushroom-flavored sauce

1 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS minced garlic

2 TBS chili garlic sauce (or sambal oelek)

1 TBS liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)

1 TBS dark soy sauce

1 tsp chili oil

1 TBS sesame oil

1 TBS dark berry jam (or molasses or brown sugar)

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INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the rice & set aside.

Mix the sauce & pour it into the bag with the faux beef & smoosh it around to marinate.

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or large fry pan.  I added the leeks & carrots & mushrooms first – because they take the longest to soften.

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Add the fest of the produce.  Broccoli & zucchini cook fastest – so I added them last.  Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, stir in the beef & marinade.  You might want to add a bit of water – but not much.  If the sauce feels too thin – whisk in a tsp of cornstarch.  Mine did not need it but yours might.  Toss to heat through & serve with rice.

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Spicy Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice with Chicken & Romaine Lettuce and 90210: The Musical

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This past weekend, I went to NYC to host 90210: The Musical.    I had no idea what to expect.  I did not know if the writers & cast were talented.  I did not know the take they would have on the show, on my character & maybe even of me.  When they invited me, I had to reconcile to laugh with everyone if I got roasted brutally.  The fact is, I made fun of a lot of the aspects of the show myself – even as I was still shooting it.  Plus – I like to think I am able to laugh at myself – so – fuck it!  I went.  And I am SO HAPPY that I did!!!

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HERE is a little review that includes a short video clip.

The show is brilliant!  Smart, dirty & REALLY funny.  Several females roles are played by men which just adds to the hilarity.  I honestly cannot recommend this show any more highly.  I saw it two nights in a row & I feel like I could watch it infinitely more times.  And what a surreal & amazing experience – to not only see such a large part of my professional life presented this way – but even my character – Emily Valentine.  Such a singular experience.  A highlight in my life.  Truly.

Now – on to food.  Every get overly ambitious about your intentions to eat healthier or come home from the farmer’s market with enough produce to cater a vegetarian wedding?  Ever end up just sorta watching that produce wilt & decay – because you ended up eating Kraft mac & cheese three days in a row or you went out to dinner all week?  SUCKS to watch all that costly food go to waste.

Well – upon my return from NYC, that is where I found myself.  Looking, sadly, at a fuckton of produce that needed eating.  No way to eat it all as separate courses.  Most frustrating was 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce just starting to brown at the edges & along the thick spine.  What to do, what to do?   My freezer is already chock full of frozen leftovers from past slow cooker efforts to use less than robust produce.  Then – I spotted a leftover box of rice from my favorite Thai restaurant – Torung.  Aha!  I would make a stir-fry!  And – guess what?  I decided to add LETTUCE to this stir-fry.  And why the fuck not?  Lettuce is a leafy green – just like spinach or bok choy.  So – I used it & it worked.

This dish is – as is often the case with my recipes – the result of what I had & what I needed to use.  You can customize this any way you want.  Add water chestnuts or baby corn.  Lose the tomatoes.  Lose the serrano peppers.  Add sriracha.  Whateverthefuck you want.  It makes a boatload so – unless you are feeding 6 people or you want to eat lots of leftovers – reduce this recipe – maybe by 50%.

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Spicy Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice with Chicken & Romaine Lettuce

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 or more cups of cooked rice

Coconut (or other) oil

10 Brussels sprouts – sliced or shredded

4-6 carrots (I used heirloom and regular) – sliced

2 bell peppers (I used 5 small gypsy peppers) – diced

3 serrano peppers (or to taste) – sliced (remove seeds to reduce heat)

4 mushrooms – sliced

1 head broccoli

1 (9 oz) package Beyond Meat vegan chicken (or whatever brand you find available) – thawed & cubed

10 cherry tomatoes – halved (plus a few extra – quartered – as garnish)

7 scallions – green & white parts – sliced

1 head romaine (or other) lettuce – chopped

Fresh spinach as a bed for the rice – optional

Lime wedges as garnish (optional)

for the sauce

1/4 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

3 TBS fresh ginger (or less – if you are not big on ginger) – I used a squeezable kind

1/4 chop Shao Xing wine

1 TBS chili garlic sauce

2 TBS hoisin sauce

1 TBS toasted sesame oil

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DIRECTIONS

Heat 1-2 TBS coconut (or other) oil in a wok or very large frying pan.  You might need to add more oil along the way – if things dry out – but that is your call.

The rest of this can really be done any whichaway – just start with the veggies that are take longest to cook first.  I started with the shredded Brussels sprouts because I like how they taste when they get sorta charred.  Here is how I proceeded:

Add the Brussels sprouts & then the carrots & peppers & serranos.

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I added more coconut oil, at this point.  Stir.

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I then literally put the entire head of broccoli in the pan & sliced it off right into the pan.  Seemed less messy that way.  I reserve the stems to steam for my dogs.  Add the mushrooms & chicken.  Combine.  Add the rice.

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Add the tomatoes and scallions (reserving some green scallions for garnish).  Combine & then add the lettuce.

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Stir in the sauce ingredients & heat through.

Serve on spinach (if you want to ) and garnish with scallions & raw tomato.  Lime wedges might be nice, too, though I did not have any.   See?  Easy!

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Vegan Vegetable Pasta Salad with Spicy Asian Sesame Peanut Dressing

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pasta salads.  Who doesn’t like them?  I guess – people who don’t like pasta but do such people exist?  Pasta is a universal thing – like bread.  Is there anyone that doesn’t like bread?  Anyway – lots of pasta salads are drenched in mayo-based sauces & there is no shortage of those that object to mayo.   Even those of us that love mayo are hesitant to eat a pasta salad with mayo that has been sitting out in the backyard BBQ too long.  So – why not eliminate two major objections & make a vegan pasta salad?  Nothing in it quick to spoil & nothing white & creamy to freak out the mayo-haters.

I used ingredients I happened to have so – this is a very flexible salad.  I wanted to use edamame but only had Lima beans – so fuck it.  I used Lima beans.   I had those gorgeous watermelon radishes but they were used primarily for their looks.  You could eliminate any ingredient – or add some – with no negative impact.   This is a light & clean alternative to accompany the entrees at BBQ’s which – let’s face it – tend to be meaty & heavy.

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Vegan Vegetable Pasta Salad with Spicy Asian Sesame Peanut Dressing

INGREDIENTS

1 lb of pasta

6 oz edamame (or Lima beans)

1 small head of broccoli – cut into small florets

4 carrots – grated

2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange are prettiest) – grated or diced

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained & rinsed

1-4 jalapenos – seeded & either grated or minced

4 radishes – grated or chopped

3 scallions – sliced

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1/2 cup slivered almonds

3/4 cup roasted peanuts

GARNISH – extra radish slices. cilantro, extra peanuts

for the dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)

4 TBS hoisin sauce

4 TBS liquid amino acids (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)

4 TBS rice vinegar

4 TBS agave nectar

4 TBS sriracha

1 tsp chili oil

2 TBS sesame oil

1-4 garlic cloves – minced

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk together the dressing & set aside.

Cook the pasta & add the broccoli for the last minute or two that it cooks.  Drain & rinse pasta & broccoli under cold water.

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Toss the salad ingredients together.

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Add some dressing & toss.  Add as much as you like – which might be less than you made.  Overdressed salads get icky so add dressing incrementally until it is where you like it.

Garnish & serve.

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Vegan Spicy Green Coconut Curry with Vegetables & Split Lentils for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Slow cooker recipes.  Is anything better than just dumping a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker, going away for hours and then coming home to dinner – warm & waiting?  I think not!

I used yellow split lentils or urad dal – but any variety of lentils will work just fine.  I added a ton of random vegetables – because I had them.  You can add or omit any veggies you like.

I had a big bag of English peas & some fresh spinach that were going to spoil before I could cook them – so – I froze them.

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It was about 2 cups of peas & make 4 cups of spinach but the spinach wilted in the freezer – down to about 4 cups.  If you use frozen veggies in yours – add them at the very end or they will just disintegrate.

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Vegan Spicy Green Coconut Curry with Vegetables & Split Lentils for the Slow Cooker

Makes a lot – likely enough to feed 6 well if served with rice

INGREDIENTS (very flexible)

2 cups lentils

2 potatoes – cubed

1 small onion – diced

1-4 cloves garlic – minced

1 small head cauliflower – cut into small florets

1-5 jalapenos – seeded & diced (use less or omit – if you do not like heat)

3-5 carrots – sliced

3 TBS ginger – minced

1 (5.5 oz) can coconut milk (use more for a richer curry)

3 TBS green curry paste

1 TBS garam masala

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp turmeric

6 cups vegetable stock

4 cups fresh spinach or 2 cups frozen

2 cups peas

S&P

GARNISH – hot sauce (like sriracha), cilantro & cooked rice (I used basmati)

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 DIRECTIONS

Put everything except peas, spinach & any frozen vegetables you might be using into the slow cooker.  If using anything frozen – all them to thaw.  Ignore my photos showing the spinach & peas being added with the other ingredients at the start.  They disintegrated & I had to add more of each at the end.  I also added the cauliflower after the curry had been cooking for hours – hence the different-looking imagery below.

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Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.  If it is too thick, add stock or water.  If it is too thin – cook a bit longer with the lid off – or mash some of the curry with a masher or immersion blender to create a thicker gravy.

15 minutes before serving – add peas, spinach & any frozen vegetables you selected.  Season with S&P.

Serve with rice & garnish with cilantro & hot sauce.

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